By Elinor Comlay and Adriana Barrera
MEXICO CITY, Sept 15 Hurricane Ingrid and
tropical depression Manuel brought heavy rains to Mexico's Gulf
and Pacific coasts on Sunday, causing flooding and landslides,
killing 21 people and forcing some towns to cancel national
Independence Day celebrations.
Thousands of people sought emergency shelter as Manuel made
landfall and bands of rain from Ingrid - churning about 110
miles (175 km) from the Gulf coast - reached land, causing
rivers and streams to burst their banks.
State oil monopoly Pemex, which has most of its
installations in the Gulf, said it evacuated three platforms off
the coast of Tamaulipas.
Pemex said on Twitter it also closed 24 wells in the area
but a refinery in Ciudad Madero, Tamaulipas, close to where
Ingrid is expected to reach land, remained open.
"There is a lot of water and the rivers are full," Luis
Felipe Puente, national coordinator for Mexico's emergency
services, told Reuters in an interview.
Because of Ingrid, several towns in Tamaulipas canceled
plans for independence celebrations on Sunday night, local media
reported. Usually Mexicans flock to their town square to hear
local officials give the call to arms, known as "El Grito," an
echo of Miguel Hidalgo's original call to arms against the
Spanish in 1810.
The combination of a tropical storm on one coast and a
hurricane on the other is unprecedented, Juan Manuel Caballero,
the head of Mexico's meteorological service, told a press
conference. "That is what is causing all this rain."
In some areas, rainfall from the storms could total 100
centimeters (39.4 inches), which would set records for an entire
hurricane season, Caballero said.
Beach resort Acapulco in Guerrero state experienced heavy
flooding and 11 people died as buildings and walls collapsed
under the weight of the rain, Puente told a press conference on
Three more people died in Guerrero as a result of
landslides. In Puebla and Oaxaca states, four people died in
building collapses and landslides, while three people died in
Hidalgo state after their vehicle was carried away by a strong
Hurricane Ingrid, a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of
75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), was drenching Tamaulipas
and Veracruz states on the Gulf coast on Sunday, sending more
than 6,000 people into emergency shelters.
In Veracruz, there have been landslides and localized
flooding, but no injuries or deaths reported, local emergency
services officials said.
Ingrid is expected to bring hurricane conditions to Veracruz
and Tamaulipas on Monday, the Miami-based National Hurricane
Center (NHC) said.
The storm is moving west-northwest at about 6 miles per hour
(9 km per hour) and expected to turn west toward the coast by
Monday afternoon, the NHC said.
A hurricane warning was in effect from Cabo Rojo in the
north of Veracruz to La Pesca in the south of Tamaulipas.
"The center of Ingrid should be very near the coast of
Mexico within the hurricane warning area by Monday afternoon,"
the NHC said.
On the Pacific coast, Manuel weakened to a tropical
depression on Sunday evening after making landfall, but the
storm was still producing heavy rains, the NHC said.